Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-6f6fcd54b-5mslm Total loading time: 0.45 Render date: 2021-05-12T03:40:58.107Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: {}


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 November 2013


In 1912 Guillermo Subercaseaux (1872–1959), a professor of economics at the University of Chile, published El Papel Moneda, translated into French in 1920 as Le Papier-Monnaie. The paper provides a full treatment of Subercaseaux’s interpretation of the working of paper-money economies, including his approach to the determination of the exchange rate of depreciated currencies and his views about the problem posed by the existence of a positive value of inconvertible paper money. We investigate how his framework was related to classic contributions by Adolph Wagner (1868), Carlo Ferraris (1879), and Wesley C. Mitchell (1903, 1908). We also deal with the background formed by the South American debates between ‘papeleros’ and ‘oreros’ (paper-money and gold-standard supporters) at the time. The paper offers an investigation of an aspect of the international transmission of economic ideas, this time from the periphery to the center.

Copyright © The History of Economics Society 2013 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.


Acevedo, E. 1903. Economia Politica y Finanzas. Montevideo: Imp. El Siglo Ilustrado.Google Scholar
Alcorta, A. 1880. Estudio sobre el Curso Forzoso. Buenos Aires: Imp. M. Biedma.Google Scholar
Altmann, S. P. 1908. “Zur deutschen Geldlehre des 19. Jahrhunderts.” In Schmoller, G., ed., Die Entwicklung der deutschen Volkswirtschaftslehre. Volume 1, essay 6. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar
Angell, J. W. [1926] 1965. The Theory of International Prices—History, Criticism and Restatement. New York: A.M. Kelley.Google Scholar
Asso, P. F., and Fiorito, L.. 2001. “Manifestazioni di pluralismo nel pensiero economico americano fra la due guerre: l’Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences.” Storia del pensiero econômico 41, pp. 131163.Google Scholar
Barbosa, R. 1892. Finanças e Política na Republica. Rio: Companhia Impressora.Google Scholar
Boianovsky, M. 2013a. “Friedrich List and the Economic Fate of Tropical Countries.” History of Political Economy 45 (4): 647691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boianovsky, M. Forthcoming, 2013b. “Fisher and Wicksell on Money: A Reconstructed Conversation.” European Journal of the History of Economic Thought 20 (2): 206237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boianovsky, M., and Erreygers, G.. 2005. “Social Comptabilism and Pure Credit Systems—Solvay and Wicksell on Monetary Reform. In Fontaine, P. and Leonard, R., eds., The Experiment in the History of Economics. London: Routledge, pp. 98134.Google Scholar
Brinton, C. 1934. “The History of Paper Money to the War.” Journal of Modern History 6: 308318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Calogeras, P. 1910. La Politique Monetaire du Brésil. Rio: Imprimiere Nationale.Google Scholar
Cannan, E. [1925] 1969. The Paper Pound of 1797–1821—The Bullion Report. New York: Kelley.Google Scholar
Carrasco, C. 2009. Banco Central de Chile, 1924–1964: Una Historia Institucional. Santiago: Banco Central de Chile.Google Scholar
Cassel, G. 1922. Money and Foreign Exchange after 1914. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
Cavalcanti, A. 1893. O Meio Circulante Nacional. Rio: Imprensa Nacional.Google Scholar
Chi-Yuen, W. 1939. An Outline of International Price Theories. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Chlepner, B.-S. 1914. “La théorie du papier-monnaie et la théorie générale de la monnaie.” Revue D’Économie Politique 28: 451466.Google Scholar
Cortés-Conde, R. 1989. Dinero, deuda y crisis: evolucion fiscal y monetaria en la Argentina, 1862–1890. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana/Instituto Torcuato Di Tella.Google Scholar
Courcelle-Seneuil, J. G. 1853. “Papier-monnaie.” In Guillaumin, G. and Coquelin, C., eds., Dictionnaire de L’Économie Politique. Volume 2. Paris: Guillaumin, pp. 316323.Google Scholar
Couyoumdjian, J. P. 2008. “Hiring a Foreign Expert: Chile in the Nineteenth Century.” In Peart, S. and Levy, D., eds., The Street Porter and the Philosopher: Conversations on Analytical Egalitarianism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 289316.Google Scholar
DasGupta, B. B. 1927. Paper Currency in India. Calcutta: Calcutta University Press.Google Scholar
Dillard, D. 1942. “Silvio Gesell’s Monetary Theory of Social Reform.” American Economic Review 32: 348352.Google Scholar
Drake, P. 1989. The Money Doctor in the Andes: The Kemmerer Missions, 1923–1933. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Edgeworth, F. Y. 1922. “Review of Le papier-monnaie and El sistema monetario y la organización bancaria de Chile.” Economic Journal 32: 529533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellis, H. S. 1934. German Monetary Theory, 1905–1933. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ferraris, C. 1879. Moneta e corso forzoso. Milan: Ulrico Hoepli.Google Scholar
Fetter, F. W. 1931. Monetary Inflation in Chile. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Fetter, F. W. 1965. Development of British Monetary Orthodoxy 1797–1875. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Ford, A. G. 1956. “Argentina and the Baring Crisis of 1890.” Oxford Economic Papers 8: 127150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fritsch, W., and Franco, G.. 2002. “Aspects of the Brazilian Experience with the Gold Standard.” In Martin Aceña, P. and Reis, J., eds., Monetary Standards in the Periphery: Paper, Silver and Gold, 1854–1933. New York: St. Martin’s Press, pp. 152173.Google Scholar
Furtado, C. [1959] 1963. The Economic Growth of Brazil: A Survey from Colonial to Modern Times. Translated by Aguiar, R. and Drysdale, E.. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Furtado, C. 1985. A fantasia organizada. Rio: Paz e Terra.Google Scholar
Gesell, S. 1891a. Die Reformation in Münzuwesen als Brücke zum Sozialen Staat. Buenos Aires: Gesell.Google Scholar
Gesell, S. 1891b. Nervus Rerum. Fortsetzung zur Reformation in Münzuwessen. Buenos Aires: Gesell.Google Scholar
Gesell, S. 1893. El sistema monetario argentino: sus vantajas y su perfeccionamiento. Buenos Aires: A. Boote.Google Scholar
Gesell, S. 1898. La cuestion monetaria argentina. Buenos Aires: Imp. La Buenos Aires.Google Scholar
Gesell, S. [1916] 1929. The Natural Economic Order. Translated by Pye, P.. Berlin: Neo-Verlag.Google Scholar
Glasner, D. 1992. “The Real-Bills Doctrine in the Light of the Law of Reflux.” History of Political Economy 24: 867894.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goodhart, C. A. E. 1998. “The Two Concepts of Money: Implications for the Analysis of Optimal Currency Areas.” European Journal of Political Economy 14: 407432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gomez Betancourt, R. 2010. “Edwin Walter Kemmerer and the Origins of the Fed.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought 32: 445470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hawtrey, R. G. 1921. “Review of Le papier-monnaie.” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 84: 626628.Google Scholar
Helfferich, K. [1923] 1927. Money Translated by Linfield, L.. Sixth edition. New York: Adelphi.Google Scholar
Hirschman, A. O. 1963. Journeys towards Progress—Studies of Economic Policy-making in Latin America. New York: Twentieth Century Fund.Google Scholar
Hirschman, A. O. 1987. “Courcelle-Seneuil, J. G. (1813–1892).” In Eatwell, J., Milgate, M., and Newman, P., eds., The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Volume 1. London: Macmillan, pp. 706707.Google Scholar
Hutchison, T. W. 1953. A Review of Economic Doctrines 1870–1929. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Iregui, A. J. 1905. Curso Teorico Practico de Economia Politica. Bogota: Casa Editorial de El Mercurio.Google Scholar
Jameson, K. 2007. “Exchange Rate Regimes from a Latin American Analytical Perspective.” In Perez Caldentey, E. and Vernengo, M., eds., Ideas, Policies and Economic Development in the Americas. New York: Routledge, pp. 6280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kemmerer, E. W. 1916. “A Proposal for Pan-American Monetary Unit.” Political Science Quarterly 31: 6680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kemmerer, E. W. 1917. “A Proposal for Pan-American Monetary Unit.” In Proceedings of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress. Volume 11. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, pp. 254262.Google Scholar
Kinley, D. 1913. Letter to G. Subercaseaux, 18 February 1913. Kinley Papers. University of Illinois Archives.
Kinley, D. 1914. “Review of El papel moneda.” American Economic Review 4: 169170.Google Scholar
Kinley, D. 1919. Letter to G. Subercaseaux, 21 January 1919. Kinley Papers. University of Illinois Archives.
Kinley, D. 1949. The Autobiography of David Kinley. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
Kleiman, E. 2000. “Early Inflation Tax Theory and Estimates.” History of Political Economy 32: 233265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Knapp, G. F. 1905. Staatliche Theorie des Geldes. Munich: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar
Knies, K. 1873–79. Geld und Credit. Berlin: Weidamann.Google Scholar
Laidler, D., and Stadler, G. W.. 1998. “Monetary Explanations of the Weimar Republic’s Hyperinflation: Some Neglected Contributions in Contemporary German Literature.” Journal of Money Credit and Banking 30: 816831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laughlin, J. L. 1903. The Principles of Money. New York: Charles Scribner & Sons.Google Scholar
Lexis, W. 1893. “Papiergeld.” In Conrad, al., eds., Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften. Volume 5. Jena: Gustav Fischer, pp. 96117.Google Scholar
Lexis, W. 1895. “The Agio on Gold and International Trade.” Economic Journal 5: 532549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Litman, S. 1945. “David Kinley 1861–1944.” American Economic Review 35: 10411044.Google Scholar
Llona, A. 1990. “Chilean Monetary Policy: 1860–1925.” PhD thesis. Boston University.
Lüders, R. 1968. “A Monetary History of Chile, 1925–1958.” PhD thesis. University of Chicago.
Mahlerbe, M. 1996. La faculté de droit de Bordeaux, 1870–1970. Bordeaux: Presses Univ. de Bordeaux.Google Scholar
Marichal, C. 1989. A Century of Debt Crises in Latin America. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
McCallum, B. T. 1989. Monetary Economics—Theory and Policy. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
Mehrling, P. 1997. The Money Interest and the Public Interest—American Monetary Thought 1920–1970. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Menger, C. 1892. “Geld.” In Conrad, al., eds., Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften. Volume 3. Jena: Gustav Fischer, pp. 730757.Google Scholar
Mill, J. S. [1848] 1909. Principles of Political Economy. Edited by Ashley, W.. London: Longmans, Green & Co.Google Scholar
Mints, L. 1945. A History of Banking Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Mises, L. von. [1912] 1924. Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel. Munich: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar
Mises, L. von. 1932. “The Great German Inflation.” Economica 36: 227234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mises, L. von. [1934] 1980. The Theory of Money and Credit. Translation by H. E. Batson of Mises [1912] 1924, Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel. Indianapolis: Liberty Classics.Google Scholar
Mitchell, W. C. 1903. A History of the Greenbacks with Special Reference to the Economic Consequences of Their Issue: 1862–65. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Mitchell, W. C. 1908. Gold, Prices, and Wages under the Greenback Standard. Berkeley: Berkeley University Press.Google Scholar
Pinto, A. 1968. Politica y desarrollo. Santiago: Editorial Universitaria.Google Scholar
Poitras, G. 1998. “Robert Torrens and the Evolution of the Real Bills Doctrine.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought 20: 479498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Popescu, O. 1997. Studies in the History of Latin American Economic Thought. New York and London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Proceedings of the Second Pan American Scientific Congress. 1916. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.
Ramón, A. 1999. Biografias de Chilenos. Santiago: Universidade Católica de Chile.Google Scholar
Ricardo, D. [1821] 1951. On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Edited by Sraffa., P.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Rist, C. 1924. La déflation en pratique. Paris: M. Giard.Google Scholar
Rist, C. 1938. “François Sauvaire-Jourdan.” Revue D’Économie Politique 52: 16091612.Google Scholar
Ritter, J. 1995. “The Transition from Barter to Fiat Money.” American Economic Review 85: 134149.Google Scholar
Robertson, D. H. [1922] 1948. Money. Fourth edition. London and Cambridge: Nisbet and Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Roscher, W. 1878. Principles of Political Economy. Translated by Lalor, J.. New York: Henry Holt & Co.Google Scholar
Ross, A. 1910. Chile 1851–1910: Sixty Years of Monetary and Financial Questions and Banking Problems. Valparaiso: Imp. Inglesa Westcott & Co.Google Scholar
Sauvaire-Jourdan, F. 1913. “Review of El papel moneda.” Revue D’Économie Politique 27: 542544.Google Scholar
Schumpeter, J. A. 1954. History of Economic Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Seligman, E. R. 1921. Currency Inflation and Public Debts: An Historical Sketch. New York: Equitable Trust Co.Google Scholar
Simmel, G. [1907] 1978. The Philosophy of Money. Translation by Bottomore, T. and Frisby, D. of Philosophie des Geldes. London and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
Solterer, J. 1949. “Review of Economía política teórica.” Review of Social Economy 7: 71.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1907. Economía política teórica. Santiago: Imp. Barcelona.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1909. Essai sur la nature du papier monnaie sous son aspect historique et économico-monétaire. Paris: Librairie de la Societé du Recueil J.-B. Sirey et du Journal du Palais.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1911a. “La monnaie.” Revue Économique Internationale 4: 6883.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1911b. “The Monetary System of Chile.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 37: 105128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1912. El papel moneda. Santiago: Imprenta Cervantes.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1913. “Das Papiergeld im nationalen und internationalen Zahlungsverkehr.” Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv 2: 8895.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1917. “A Common Monetary Unit for America.” Proceedings of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress. Volume 11. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, pp. 295304.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1920a. Le papier-monnaie. Translation of El papel moneda. Paris: M. Giard & E. Briére.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1920b. El sistema monetario y la organización bancaria de Chile. Santiago: Imprenta i Litografia Universo.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1922. Monetary and Banking Policy of Chile. Translation of Le papier-monnaie. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1925. Letter to E. W. Kemmerer, 18 April 1925. Kemmerer Papers. Mudd Manuscript Library. Princeton University.
Subercaseaux, G. 1931. “The Modern Gold Standard with Illustrations from South America.” American Economic Review 21: 249259.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1933. “Paper Money.” In Seligman, E. R. A., ed., Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences. Volume 11. New York: Macmillan, pp. 568570.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1938. Seis años de politica monetaria (1933–1938). Santiago: Soc. Imp. y Lito. Universo.Google Scholar
Subercaseaux, G. 1946. Economía política teórica. Second edition. Santiago: Imp. Universitaria.Google Scholar
Supino, C. 1922. “Review of Le papier-monnaie.” Scientia 32: 6566.Google Scholar
Terry, J. A. 1893. La Crisis (1885–1823). Buenos Aires: Imp. M. Biedma.Google Scholar
Terry, J. A. 1899. Questiones Monetarias. Conferencias en la Facultad de Derecho. Buenos Aires
The Economist. 1920. “Review of Le papier-monnaie.” The Economist 4024 (October): 17.
Torrens, R. 1812. An Essay on Money and Paper Currency. London: J. Johnson.Google Scholar
Trautwein, H.-M. 2002. “The Credit Theory of Karl Knies.” In Böhm, S., Gehrke, C., and Kurz, H., eds., Is There Progress in Economics? Aldeshot: Elgar, pp. 193214.Google Scholar
Tugan-Baranovsky, M. [1917] 1987. Cartamoneta e metallo. Translation by Graziosi, A.. Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.Google Scholar
Tusset, G. 2003. “L’economia al servizio dello stato: Carlo Francesco Ferraris.” In Augello, M. and Guidi, M., eds., Gli economisti in parlamento 1861–1922. Milan: FrancoAngeli, pp. 523550.Google Scholar
Valdes Vergara, F. 1913. Problemas economicos de Chile. Valparaiso: Imp. y Litografia Universo.Google Scholar
Vieira Souto, L. R. [1902] 1980. “O ultimo relatório da Fazenda.” In Luz, N. V., ed., Idéias econômicas de Joaquim Murtinho. Brasilia: Senado Federal and Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa, pp. 341518.Google Scholar
Wagner, A. 1868. Die russische Papierwährung. Riga: Kymmel.Google Scholar
Wagner, A. [1898] 1912. Traité de la Science des Finances. Translated by Heller, P.. Volume 3. Paris: M. Giard & É. Brière.Google Scholar
Wicksell, K. [1906, 1915] 1929. Förelasningar i Nationalekonomi. Volume 2. Lund: Berlingska.Google Scholar
Wicksell, K. 1935. Lectures on Political Economy. Volume 2. Translation by Classen, E. of Förelasningar i Nationalekonomi. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Wileman, J. P. [1896] 1969. Brazilian Exchange—The Study of an Inconvertible Currency. New York: Greenwood.Google Scholar
Williams, J. H. 1920. Argentine International Trade under Inconvertible Paper Money, 1880–1900. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Williams, J. H. 1923. “Review of El sistema monetario y la organización bancaria de Chile.” American Economic Review 13: 140142.Google Scholar
Young, A. 1924. “War Debts, External and Internal.” Foreign Affairs 2: 397409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *